Media leaks reported to CIA at alarming rate during Trump era -- especially when Mike Pompeo led spy agency
The Trump administration reported substantially more media leaks to the Justice Department and intelligence agencies than previous administrations, according to newly released data.
The Intercept obtained new data that shows Donald Trump's administration referred far more leaks -- called "crime reports" -- to the CIA, National Security Agency and Justice Department than previous presidential administrations as part of his relentless campaign against whistleblowers.
"A former CIA official pointed to the sheer frequency of leaks directly related to the Russia investigation," the website reported. "Media leaks about the Russia investigation were so commonplace that the former CIA official, upon being notified of one such leak in spring of 2017, recalled a senior CIA counterintelligence manager remarking, 'Well, that's another referral.'"
The CIA accounted for more than 64 percent of all referrals, primarily about the Russia probe, while the NSA accounted for just 15 percent.
The referrals spiked to 120 in 2017, when Trump ally Mike Pompeo led the CIA, and many reports involved leaks that had occurred months or even years before during the Obama administration."More than twice as many leak referrals were sent to the Justice Department during the first three years of the Trump administration than in any other three-year period in the last decade-and-a-half," the website reported.
Donald Trump supporters calling themselves an "election integrity committee" are going door to door in Pennsylvania and demanding to know whom residents voted for in the November election.
York County president commissioner Julie Wheeler, a Republican, said she received numerous calls about alleged voter intimidation by members of the so-called committee, and has referred the matter to law enforcement, the York Dispatch reported Thursday. Wheeler added that the committee has no affiliation with county government.
County officials are currently weighing whether to comply with a "forensic audit" of the 2020 election spearheaded by GOP state Sen. Doug Mastriano, based on the former president's false claims of widespread fraud.
Chad Baker, chair of the Democratic Party of York County, said members of the "election integrity committee" appear to be targeting Democrats.
"There is an intimidation factor, and that's what their intent is," Baker said. "The timing of this doesn't seem suspect given the recent request of the audit by Sen. Mastriano."
Cyber Ninjas, the private firm conducting a partisan audit of election results in Arizona, reportedly planned to use similar door-knocking tactics earlier this year, prompting a letter from the Department of Justice.
"This description of the proposed work of the audit raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters," the DOJ's Civil Rights Division wrote in a May 5 letter to Cyber Ninjas.
House Democrats zero in on ex-Trump officials to question in Jan. 6 probe: 'Who was the ultimate organizer?'
House Democrats are confident they'll be able to question former Donald Trump aides in their investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection, but they still have work ahead of them to secure testimony from some of the biggest names.
Lawmakers still haven't defined the scope of their investigation, but the Department of Justice has offered a legal opinion allowing Congress to seek witness statements from former Trump administration officials -- and they're focused on coordination efforts by extremist groups that led the assault on the U.S. Capitol, reported Politico.
"That means the likelihood of any resistance from the committee's work from former [Trump] employees or current employees is not an impediment," said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the committee chairman.
The select committee members are especially interested in what happened in the days and weeks before the insurrection, with a particular focus on the planning and financing of the assault.
"[We] want to know who was the ultimate organizer and who paid for all of this action and how did it come about and are they still out there," said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).
Panel members want to hear from witnesses who can describe "local, state and federal interaction in the run up to and on the day of Jan. 6," according to Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and testimony from individuals who can describe the political influence on the Pentagon and intelligence agencies.
Other congressional committees, including the House Oversight and Reform Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee, are also investigating aspects of the insurrection, including Donald Trump's efforts pressure the Justice Department to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud and potentially overturn his election loss.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who chairs the Oversight Committee, released letters to former top Justice Department officials, including Trump's last acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen.
She also wants to hear from two former U.S. attorneys based in Atlanta who may be able to shed light on the ex-president's pressure campaign on Georgia officials to "find" enough votes to overturn his election.
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